Paying Student Organizations

​Can a Student Organization/Group Be Paid for Working On Campus?
Compensation for services is reportable either on a W-2 for employees, or on a
1099-MISC for independent contractors. This means the payee MUST have a taxpayer
identification number (TIN), whether the payee is an individual, a business or an organization.  In the case of a business or an organization, the TIN would be an employer ID number (EIN).  Since student organizations/groups (including Registered Student Organizations) are a completely separate entity from CMU, they are NOT covered under CMU’s tax-exempt status or taxpayer identification number (EIN).  Therefore, student organizations must apply to the IRS for their own EIN, if they want to work on campus. Please note that, unless the student organization also files paperwork with the IRS to be recognized as a tax-exempt organization, a 1099-MISC would be issued to them if paid $600 or more (for services provided) during the tax year.
If a student organization does NOT have an EIN, we cannot process a payment to them for services performed by individual members of the organization – even if payment is in recognition of “volunteered” services. The individual members that worked (or volunteered their services) would need to be hired and paid as student employees.
A student organization should also have an EIN to receive payment for a prize or award, as the payment could be reportable on a 1099-MISC. However, an EIN is not required to process a payment to reimburse expenses to a student organization as long as original receipts are provided with the request.
Read the Tax Informa​tion” fact sheet for student organizations.  The information includes basic instructions on how to apply for an EIN (i.e., by phone, by fax or by mail) and a link to the IRS web site.  If you have questions, please contact our office at 3523.